Yountville Bike Tour
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Brief History of Yountville
Pioneer and mountain man George C. Yount arrived in the Napa Valley possibly as early as 1831. Five years later Yount became the first Americano (the Spanish term for Americans living in the Mexican territory Alta California) to receive a land grant from the Mexican government in the Napa Valley. He was granted Rancho Caymus, near the site of present day Yountville, from General Mariano Vallejo. Yount had the township – then called Sebastopol – laid out in 1855, and in 1867, two years after his death, the town was renamed after its founder. Yountville remained a small township until it was incorporated in 1965. It recently celebrated its 50th anniversary by dedicated two millstones bought by Yount for his flour mill.
Stags’ Leap Winery
6150 Silverado Trail
Tastings by appointment only: website
Stags’ Leap Winery was built by Horace Chase, a Chicago financier, in 1888. For a time it functioned as both a winery and resort, particularly in the mid-20th century. Chase’s 1892 stone manor house and gardens are steeped in ghost stories and legends of bootleggers. After Chase lost his fortune, the stone winery fell into disrepair, but today it is well kept and a popular tourist destination.
6293 Silverado Trail
Historic Site – Closed to the Public/No Access
Napa County once had dozens of one-room schoolhouses. Most were torn down, but a few have been converted into homes or farm centers. The original bell from Yount School is now at the newer Yountville School in town.
Napa River Ecological Reserve
Yountville Cross Road, Yountville
From 1858 to 1879, this area was known as the Youtville Campgrounds, a place where people gathered for religious events. They brought cattle, chickens, and sheep to graze the land. The last official gathering took place in 1974, and the only remnant of the forest’s spiritual past is the bench just off the trail. The 73 acre property is a valley oak-bay riparian forest, with a variety of rare and protected plant and animal life. Nearly 150 species of birds, butterflies, and mammals and 238 species of plants inhabit the landscape. A few of the oaks are believed to be nearly 300 years old, and the site is a particularly good location for birding.
St Joan of Arc Catholic Church
6404 Washington Street, Yountville
Rev. Francis F. McCarthy came to California from Kentucky as a small child, and finally settled in Napa in 1890. His seminary studies took him throughout the Bay Area, but in 1920 he returned to Yountville with the hopes of establishing a parish. Funded by local donors, the grounds were consecrated in May 1921 and the building dedicated that July. The parish serves the Town of Yountville, the Veterans Home, and the communities of Oakville and Rutherford. Look inside for the beautiful stained glass windows.
6525 Washington Street, Yountville
National Register building: website
Previously known as Vintage 1870, V Marketplace was originally built as a wine cellar capable of storing up to 400,000 gallons of wine, brandy distillery, and barrel room by Gottlieb Groezinger. The 23-acre property also contained a steam power plant, creamer, stables, barns, and the family mansion.Groezinger built the estate in the early 1870s, but by 1889 had sold it off. The property was a winery until 1955. It was vacant until the late 1960s when it was converted into a shopping center.
John Lee Webber House
2020 Webber Avenue, Yountville
Built early 1850s
National Register building: website
The Webber House was built in the early 1850s by Captain John Grigsby’s son and daughter-in-law Sylvester and Polly. Capt. Grigsby went back to the east coast in 1861 but his Sylvester and Polly remained on the land as a farmer and raised their five children in the Greek Revival-style house. Webber settled in Napa County in 1876 and became a prominent local farmer and butcher. He wed Nancy Jane Grigsby, granddaughter of Capt. Grigsby, and later became a County Supervisor. The Grigsbys relocated the house from the ranch just south of town to its present site in the 1860s, and the Webbers expanded the property in 1907. It remained in the family until 1929, and shortly thereafter was converted to a B&B.
George C. Yount Pioneer Cemetery
Lincoln Avenue and Jackson Street, Yountville
This small pioneer cemetery holds the remains of George Yount and many other prominent residents. Yount selected this site for his cemetery because of its proximity to a much older burial site for the Caymus, the local band of Wappo who inhabited the area before white incursion. Many Wappo worked on Yount’s rancho in the 1840s through 1860s, and a plaque marks their sacred burial site.
George Yount’s Blockhouse and Mills
Yount Mill Road and Cook Road, Yountville
State Historical Landmark #564
This marker is located on the side of the road just before the bridge on Yount Mill Road. It marks the former location of Yount’s blockhouse and mill. The mill operated from the 1840s through the 1890s and was demolished in 1910. Two of the original millstones are now installed in front of the Yountville Community Center.
Yount Mill Road, Yountville
The Pole Barn was built by Italian immigrant Andrew Pelissa and Andrew Del Bondio in the late 1930s to house the hay for their cattle. The Pelissas have been in the Napa Valley since the turn of the century, and were key to passing the historic Agricultural Preserve in 1968 which zones off rural and open space from development.